One more run for supermare Winx before Royal Ascot decision
Six-year-old eased to 16th Group One victory on Saturday surpassing Black Caviar
Winx eased to a record 16th Group One victory on Saturday. Photograph: Mark Evans/Getty
Trainer Chris Waller will wait until after Winx’s next run before making a final decision on whether the Australian supermare will cross the globe to compete at Royal Ascot this summer.
The six-year-old extended her winning streak to 23 with a stylish success in the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick on Saturday, a victory which also provided Winx with the 16th top-level success of her career, surpassing Black Caviar’s record of 15 Australian Group One wins.
Waller immediately nominated the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on March 17 as her next port of call, after which connections will decide whether or not she will be prepared for a trip to Europe.
Speaking the morning after Winx’s latest triumph, Waller told racing.com: “I’ve said all along I want her to make the decision. I think the next couple of runs will tell us more. I said we’d make a decision after the George Ryder, which will be her next start in three weeks’ time.
“It won’t made on the Saturday night after the George Ryder, it will be a few days later. We’ll give everybody the indication of what we’re likely to do.
“By holding it (decision) back, we’re allowing her form to say ‘yep, I’m ready to go, I’m just as good as I’ve ever been’, or ‘I’m just starting to lose my dominance and it’s probably best to keep me at home and race in Australia and perhaps go for a fourth Cox Plate’.
“If she’s at her very best she’s got a great chance of going (to Europe), anything less than that she’s got a great chance of not going.
“I’ve put the cards on the table and the owners have been fantastic, there’s no pressure from them.
“We want our darling to tell us what she wants to do and where the next stage of her life goes.”
Whether Winx makes the journey to Britain or not, she is likely to line up in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Randwick on April 14th, with Waller suggesting she could run just once on foreign soil.
“I think it (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes) would be very likely. It’s in our back yard and it’s the signature race of the autumn for the older horses,” Waller added.
“Obviously we have discussed running her in multiple races in the UK, or England, Ireland and France — wherever we may decide to go.
“But I think realistically we wouldn’t be going for too many races if we went overseas, probably one.
“If that was the case I’d say it would be a pretty good chance she’ll run in the Queen Elizabeth.”